Two studies that reveal the glaringly obvious

Two studies that reveal the glaringly obvious

Reading through health studies is like fishing. Every now and then you land a beauty, but between those beauties there are dozens you have to throw back.

HSI researcher and reporter Michele Cagan recently sent me a couple of amusing throw- backs that make you wonder what kind of smooth operator you have to be to get financing for studies like these.

First up: When researchers at Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center conducted a three-year study of eldery drivers, they found that the driving skills of patients with mild dementia or Alzheimer’s “predictably declineto a level that often precludes safe driving.”

Really? It took THREE YEARS to confirm that dementia and driving are not a safe mix?

The second study also blows the lid off the glaringly obvious: When researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Italy followed five years of health records for more than 260 patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, they discovered that risk of dying during the study period was quite a bit higher among patients who smoked.

Wait. There’s more: Risk of dying was even higher in smoking patients who also drank more than four alcoholic beverages each day.

Michele’s comment: “Seriously – someone send me money right now. I want to study whether kids who eat eggs also eat chicken.”

“Mild Dementia May Not Preclude Driving” Joene Hendry, Reuters Health, 4/11/08,
“Smoking, Drinking Imperil Lymphoma Survival” Michele Rizzo, Reuters Health, 4/11/08,